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Monthly Archives / March 2014

A few weekends ago a few of us were invited to the recently refurbished Kim Ma Chinese Restaurant at Palace of Golden Horses for a food review session. The restaurant seats 120 pax with 5 private rooms.

Decoration oozes the concept of elegance and strength, with poise and beauty that is fitting of their symbol and name of the restaurant, Kim Ma translates to Golden Horse in Mandarin.

Kim Ma Chinese Restaurant, with Chef Roy Wong
Kim Ma Chinese Restaurant, with Chef Roy Wong

The restaurant is led by Chef Roy Wong, the chef de cuisine who does not shun off from experimenting traditional Chinese cuisine with contemporary twist. Chef Roy started his career in 1991 at Frankfriut’s Dynasty China Restaurant at Arabella Sheraton Grand Hotel, and has won multiple awards in the past 23 years or so.

amuse bouche, Chinese style, egg and baked oyster
amuse bouche, Chinese style, egg and baked oyster

We started the session with a couple “amuse-bouche” in the form of slow boiled egg and baked oyster. The egg was topped with a shimeji mushroom and a dash of truffle flavour, I love it.

The baked fresh oyster topped with mayonnaise and other ingredients,  a rich and fresh treat.

signature dimsum, including steamed prawn dumplings with trufflesignature dimsum, including steamed prawn dumplings with truffle

We then proceeded to try their dimsum

The two Signature dimsum were prawn meat and black mushroom topped with trufflesteamed chicken roll with morel mushrooms.

The prawn dimsum garnished with shrimp roe and spring onion, I really liked the extra character provided by the truffle. Classy and delicious. The combination of fried yam stick and beancurd with chicken also proved to be a good formula, it was good enough I didn’t miss the lack of pork in this particular dimsum.

The third dimsum we had was from their Healthy dimsum section – steamed angled luffa dumplings with superior broth. The texture of this dimsum was quite unique, and reminded me of fish maw to be honest, quite delicious.

deep fried abalone with grouper fish paste
deep fried abalone with grouper fish paste

Next up was a pretty fancy dish created by Chef Roy for the first time, deep fried abalone with grouper fish paste, caviar and served with homemade beancurd.

While visually I thought it looked like those fried ice cream, the taste couldn’t have been more different. The combination of grouper fish paste with braised abalone was superb, and I also really liked the home-made beancurd that was super soft. The caviar on top gave it that extra oomph as well.

However, the sauce used in this dish turned out to be too strong. It was fitting for the tofu, but overpowering the fish paste and abalone. Chef took our comments and promised that he will revise the dish.

more dimsum, village chicken broth with fish maw
more dimsum, village chicken broth with fish maw

No Chinese course meal is complete without soup, so for this purpose we were served the village chicken broth with fish maw. The broth is thick and has a slight creamy taste to it that can only achieve from steaming the whole chicken for hours.

The scallop and prawn dumpling in the soup was not bad either, but what I really love was that piece of high quality fish maw, with the consistency of foie gras, tofu, and beef tendon all mixed together. I can have this everyday.

congee with cod fish and century egg
congee with cod fish and century egg

Congee with cod fish and century egg is your usual dimsum style porridge, but this time with the higher quality cod fish instead of the usual unidentifiable “white fish fillet”.

Chinese style ravioli
Chinese style ravioli

Chef Wong then served us this perfectly East-meets-West dish – a Chinese style ravioli stuffed with minced chicken and topped with deep fried vege treated with charcoal powder. It was quite an interesting twist but ultimately I think a type of meat with more fat (ie: pork) would make this dish better.

double boiled whole coconut with almond and snow jelly
double boiled whole coconut with almond and snow jelly

Our dessert was double boiled whole coconut with almond and snow jelly.

The chef combined three types of almond to create this dish – the “bei” (North) almond, “nan” (South) almond, and American almond. With the aroma of coconut and the sweetness of almond, this hot dessert proved to be a perfect ending to our meal.

A note for potential Muslim diners, this dessert comes with snow jelly, or hasma, which is a product from frog.

mentalist Zlwin Chew. performing every Thursday to Sunday
mentalist Zlwin Chew. performing every Thursday to Sunday

On every Thursday to Sunday, renowned mentalist Zlwin Chew performs at the Kim Ma and other restaurants at Palace of Golden Horses. I won’t spoil it for you, but the guy’s got quite an impressive array of tricks.

map to Palace of Golden Horses

Address:
Palace of Golden Horses
Jalan Kuda Emas,

Mines Wellness City,
43300 Seri Kembangan
Selangor
GPS: 3.046927,101.709341
Tel: 03-8943 2666
Hours: weekdays 12-2:30pm, 6:30-10:30pm (reservation only). Weekends 10am-4pm

A few weeks ago my breakfast adventure brought me back to the little hidden enclave by DUKE highway that is Kampung Ayer Panas’s wet market. Ever since I discovered the pork noodle place at Wenl Senh kopitiam, I’ve been wanting to check out the wet market, so I did.

the wantan mee stall at Ayer Panas wet market
the wantan mee stall at Ayer Panas wet market

I arrived there at around 7 in the morning, with activities at the market just about to pick up. The food court is located at the back part of the market, after scanning for a little bit, I decided to give the wantan mee stall a try.

When in doubt, choose the busiest stall/shop.

wantan soup, char siu, and a side of pickled green chili
wantan soup, char siu, and a side of pickled green chili

Seating area is a bit of a premium around here, it seems like they never thought anyone would actually dine in when the architect drew up this place. You can sit right in front of the stall, or a few smallish tables scattered around the area. I was instructed to sit next to another stall that’s on holiday.

My plate of wantan mee came within minutes, and it was proper. The noodle properly moist, the charsiu, while not the best I’ve had, was quite savory and held its own. What I really like though, is the home made wantan that was served separately in a small bowl of soup. It was very flavorful and succulent, I think I can easily devour another 20 wantan if presented.

this traditional breakfast only costs RM 4 around here
this traditional breakfast only costs RM 4 around here

The best thing about this place? It only costs RM 4 for that plate of classic breakfast. Order the same thing in Petaling Jaya or KL and you’ll be likely to part with RM 5 or RM 5.50.

I shall check out more places around here.

map to pasar ayer panas

Address:
Pasar Ayer Panas
Jalan Ayer Keroh
Taman Ayer Panas,
43000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.189279,101.718704

I remember the days when Korean cars is just an after thought for most when it comes to purchasing new cars, even as early only some 10 years ago, they weren’t viewed as something that is of equal to European and Japanese counterparts.

Fast forward to 2014, and things couldn’t be more different. I stopped by the KIA Roadshow at The Curve Mutiara Damansara to check out their latest models as well as a test drive last weekends and came away very impressed.

Kia roadshow at the Curve
KIA roadshow at the Curve

KIA took the whole centre court at the Curve and had it set up with the World Cup 2014 theme. There were five KIA vehicles being showcased around the green football field inspired carpet – Picanto, Sportage, Cerato, and Optima K5.

There were also official KIA merchandises, PS3 games, and even a KIA speed kicker game where you win a souvenir if you can kick a football over 100 km/h (I only managed 90 km/h)

official merchandise, KIA speed kicker game
official merchandise, KIA speed kicker game

At the centre of it all was the counter where you can register for a test drive.

For anyone who likes football, travel, or driving, this is a great news. If you register for a test drive, you are given 1 coupon which entitles you to enter into a lucky draw where winner gets to attend the 2014 World Cup semi-final game in Brazil! But if you booked a KIA for as low as RM200, you will be given 2 coupons to enter the lucky draw which gives you a higher chance of winning

Naturally I took a test drive, these kind of opportunity doesn’t come along often.

we test drove the Cerato 1.6
we test drove the Cerato 1.6

After filling up the paperwork (you have to have a valid driver’s license), I took the KIA Cerato to a spin around the block. I chose the Cerato 1.6 as it is priced below RM 100k, something that falls within my financial ability when it comes to a new car.

For vehicle of this class, I must say that the specification is rather impressive. There’s reverse camera, six airbags, brake assist, traction control, ABS, climate control (including vents for rear seat passengers), LED side repeater and puddle lamp (a light that illuminates the ground around the door before you step into the car), paddle shift, keyless entry, keyless ignition, and a healthy dose of controls available right at the driver’s finger tips.

the Kia Cerato is rather spacious and comes with a host of features
the KIA Cerato is rather spacious and comes with a host of features

The 1.6 litre petrol engine powering the Cerato is rated at a healthy 128 hp and mated with a 6 speed automatic transmission. Although we didn’t manage to take it to highway speed, the car showed good acceleration and handling around the block. Wind and outside noise is also minimal.

The car can host 5 adults comfortable, and also comes with a 421 litre boot space. As a comparison, my pretty good size fridge is about 380 litre.

The styling of the car too is also something that I find very attractive. Led by Peter Schreyer, the influential automobile designer at KIA certainly brought out fresh and original styling that appeals to this generation.

Kia Sportage comes in 5 colors
KIA Sportage comes in 5 colors

For active families, there’s KIA Sportage. (I had an old story with involving Sportage driven by Margie). The SUV starts just below RM 140k and comes with roof racks, sun roof, and can accommodate up to seven passengers.

the Picanto comes with 6 airbags
the Picanto comes with 6 airbags

The Picanto, on the other hand, might appeal to the first car owner and the younger generations.

While diminutive in size, the Picanto certainly doesn’t lack in features. It also comes with 6 airbags, LED daytime running light, electronic stability control, ABS, brake assist system, and rear parking assist system. The 4.9 meter turning radius should also make this car very easy to park and navigate around tight areas.

Optima K5 has a  4.3-inch TFT LCD and luxurious interior
Optima K5 has a  4.3-inch TFT LCD and luxurious interior

For ultimate in luxury and comfort, there’s the KIA Optima, a car with pretty much every important features found in all other models, and then some. This car is suited for executives and business owners who likes something classy, comfortable, while not lacking in driveability and safety.

For those who didn’t manage to visit the roadshow at the Curve, there’s upcoming KIA roadshow at KSL City on the 4th-6th April in Johor, and another KIA roadshow at KLCC on the 16th and 21st April, 2014. Don’t forget that you will also get the chance to participate in the lucky draw that might just put you in Brazil!

A couple weekends ago I had an epiphany. I had garupa fish fillet in the fridge, and a pack of curry powder, so why not put them together and see what happens, right?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you – fried fish fillet with curry powder.

cover the fish with a layer of curry powder before frying
cover the fish with a layer of curry powder before frying

This dish is so easy to make you could  do it in kemahiran hidup and not mess it up.

Ingredients:

  • fish fillet (any type of fish)
  • curry powder
  • salt
  • cooking oil for frying
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • petai (optional)

some garlic and petai for garnish
some garlic and petai for garnish

Cooking instructions:

  • apply salt and curry powder to fish fillet (must be dry)
  • fry fish in medium heat for 7-10 mins each side depending on thickness
  • separately, fry chopped garlic to golden brown
  • fry petai for 2 mintues
  • serve while hot!

fried curry fish fillet with petai and garlic
fried curry fish fillet with petai and garlic

So there you go, a simple recipe anyone can try. Fried curry fish fillet with petai. For more simple home-cook recipes, check the KY cooks section.

While most people have a set group of lunch buddies at workplace, I tend to join different groups of colleagues and friends for lunch escapades, maximising the opportunity to try something different.

Today’s adventure brought us to the R&R Bukit Awan, somewhere near OUG & Bukit Jalil on the Shah Alam Highway. Our target was Restoran A. Hassan for some Ayam Kampung.

Hassan Ayam Kampung at R&R Awan Besar, Lebuhraya Shah Alam
Hassan Ayam Kampung at R&R Awan Besar, Lebuhraya Shah Alam

Our “tour guide” of the day was Lukman, who previously introduced us to another equally excellent Restoran Salero Negori at Dato’ Keramat.

I was a little bit skeptical on a place at a highway stopover, but when we were greeted with the huge lunch crowd at the place, any doubt I had instantly went away.

they have more than ayam goreng kampung
they have more than ayam goreng kampung

While the restaurant pride itself on Ayam Goreng Kampung (deep fried village chicken), there are plenty of other dishes to choose from. Much like most nasi kandar places, there’s a wide variety of curry with fish, chicken, beef, lamb, and vegetables. One thing for sure though, there isn’t many dishes that aren’t spicy.

we had chicken, beef curry, ulam, and plenty of sambal
we had chicken, beef curry, anchovies, ulam, and plenty of sambal

For the four of us, we took 6 pieces of ayam goreng kampung, a plate of beef curry, sambal anchovies, and a healthy serving of ulam (raw vegetable to be consumed with sambal).

The chicken, being their signature dish, was not a let down at all. The meat was firm yet tender and full of flavor, adding a bit of sambal and you’ve got yourself a winner. The beef and anchovies proved to be worthy companion dishes as well.

such a lovely lunch, thank you Lukman for bringing me there
such a lovely lunch, thank you Lukman for bringing me there

The meal totalled up to be slightly over RM 10 per person including drinks. I’ve never had a highway stopover meal nearly as good, this is a place I’ll definitely go again.

map to R&R Awan Besar

Other than Awan Besar R&R, Restoran A. Hassan also has branches at Kampung Baru, Shah Alam, USJ Taipan, and Puchong.

Address:
Restoran A. Hassan Ayam Kampung
R &R Awan Besar (West Bound)
Lebuhraya Shah Alam
47100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.065503,101.662125
Hours: Lunch and Dinner